Yesterday I went to a network meeting with product managers, project managers, and software developers interested in product. It was really cool and I learned a lot.
There was a point in the conversation where we were talking about successful software products and one of the guys made a comment like this:
It’s not the best software that wins… it’s the marketing.
Those weren’t his exact words, but it’s the spirit of what he said… and he is right.
There was a point where JibberJobber had I think three competitors who had much better packaging of their websites than we did. Our look was outdated and clunky (JibberJobber is developed by programmers, not designers), and our competition had sites that were gorgeous. Beautiful. Years ahead of what we had.
Those three are no longer in business…
Because even though their sites were beautiful, they weren’t very functional. They didn’t have the breadth or depth of features that we have. They were pretty but superficial.
But I still had users who said “I’m going over to their site because they look better.” No kidding… that’s what people said.
We’re still around, and we’re working on looking better… but we’ll always put function over beauty because our users want and need function.
How does this relate to the job search?
I’ll not beat around the bush on this: people who present themselves better are more likely to get the job.
That could be visual appearance, the refinement of your marketing pitches, your accent (sorry, but people judge), your hair, the car you drive, the clothes you where, and even if you misbuttoned your shirt.
You might be the most brilliant expert in your field, but if you are unknown (poor personal branding) or have bad packaging (your personal marketing), you might get overlooked for someone who presents themselves better. To related that to the bold line above, your abilities are the software, but your presentation is the marketing. And you can’t ignore the marketing just because you think the software is better.
That’s just the simple human nature that marketers have been tapping into for centuries.
So yeah, sharpen your saw and get better at your craft, but get serious about your personal branding and marketing and presentation.